July 23, 2009 (CAIRO) – Sudanese authorities have sued a Sudanese female journalist for writing about the detention of another journalist for wearing trousers two weeks ago.
The Public Order Police (POP) filed a complaint against female reporter Amal Habbani, editor of the column "Tiny Issues" in Ajrass Al Horreya newspaper, after she wrote an article on 12 July 2009 supporting her colleague Lubna Hussein.
Amal was questioned by the press and publication prosecution on 20 July.
The POP accused Amal of defamation. The police authority claimed a compensation of 10 million Sudanese pounds (US$400,000).
Amal wrote an article entitled "Lubna . . . A Case Of Subduing a Woman’s Body," in which she asserted that Lubna’s case is not about fashion, but rather a political tactic to intimidate and terrorize opponents of the general discipline law, which is most oppressive to women.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned in a statement released today the Sudanese authorities for continuing to persecute reporters and oppress all voices defending freedom of expression.
ANHRI requests that the Sudanese government abolish or change the public discipline law, one of the most oppressive and discriminating laws against women, as it violates basic individual freedoms.
Lubna Hussein, editor of the column "Men’s Talk", was recently tried in the general discipline court, after being accused of "sensational dressing up." The general discipline police authority considered Lubna’s dressing style a threat to the values and virtues of Sudanese society. Conviction, following such an accusation, results in receiving 40 whips in public as per Article 152/1991 of the criminal law.